Sophie Young (she/her)
Innovation Design Research Prize
I’m a multidisciplinary designer committed to optimising user experience through co-design. I’m drawn to projects that allow me to collaborate with stakeholders to develop research-led innovation. Much of our current infrastructure and products have been designed with a limited consideration for the diversity of human experiences. This needs to change. My aim is to create accessible and sustainable systems, products and environments. To achieve this, I believe designers must work with stakeholders who have a multiplicity of backgrounds and abilities. Their input must be treated with equal importance throughout the design process to reach the most rewarding outcomes. I endeavour to design proactively, considering how the user currently engages with the project, the impact this has on their experience, and how this may progress in the future.
How I Like to Learn
The purpose of this project is to create an optimised learning environment for students with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in secondary school. For Batman, the 1st year student I’m working with, FASD impedes his memory, literacy and numeracy skills, amongst other things. I’m working with Batman and his pastoral support teacher, Jessica, to implement a navigation system which is accessible to him.
The system utilises Batman’s strengths with colour and visuals, enabling him to confidently and independently navigate his new school. This is something he was previously unable to do using the traditional school timetable. Following the success of the navigation system, the project has progressed further. We are now looking at how more students with additional support needs may be involved in future improvements of the education system, through sharing their experiences in the same way that Batman was able to share his.
The Family Support Network
This project looks at the future of cancer prevention through supporting young families to make healthy choices for their children. Inequality surrounds many aspects of cancer development. For example, obesity increases a person’s risk of developing 13 known cancers, and children from poorer areas are twice as likely to be obese than children in affluent areas. Through the experience of 21 year-old care worker Lindsay and her son, Sam, we explore the opportunities and benefits of a connected family support system using collective intelligence. I’ve designed a network, within which healthcare services and community agencies work in collaboration with the food industry to sustain a more proactive and inclusive family support network.
There are three major aspects to the Family Support Network; its accessibility, dietary support, and the fact that it is a dynamic, self-developing system.